WASHINGTON – Today, the Problem Solvers Caucus, Co-Chaired by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) and Tom Reed (NY-23), applauded the House Judiciary Committee for passing bipartisan legislation, H.R. 1327, the Never Forget the Heroes Act, favorably out of committee, moving the bill forward for a vote on the House floor. Together, the co-chairs recognized the impressive leadership and dedication of Representatives Pete King (NY-3) and Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) for their commitment to ensuring 9/11 first responders and survivors have continued benefits.
On February 15, 2019, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund announced that injured and ill 9/11 responders and survivors would receive cuts to their awards due to insufficient funding, including reductions of 50% for pending claims and 70% for future claims, noting the dramatic increase in claims filed.
The Never Forget the Heroes Act, also known as the Extend the James Zadroga Act, will ensure that the Victim Compensation Fund is fully funded through 2090 and will remain open for those who will become ill in the future.
Yesterday, Rep. Maloney testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing, which passed the bill to full committee, and said, “We have a moral obligation to provide support and compensation to these heroes and their families. Not only did they come to our aid when we needed them, but many are sick because they trusted the federal government when it said the air around Ground Zero was safe to breathe.”
The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus endorsed the renewal of the 9/11 victims compensation fund earlier this year. The Caucus hopes for swift floor passage so that these victims can finally rely on getting the support they need.
“We always need to stand with 9/11 victims and their families and, personally, I will never stop fighting for them. They were heroes who stood up against terror and Congress must renew the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “And the Problem Solvers Caucus thanks both Rep. King and Rep. Maloney for all of their continued dedication to this critical cause and for standing up for our heroes.”
“Pete King and Carolyn Maloney deserve a standing applause for their tireless work and dedication to ensure our 9/11 first responders are treated fairly.” Reed said. “The Judiciary Committee deserves credit for putting politics aside and teeing up a vote on the House floor so all our 9/11 first responders we care deeply about will never have to worry again if the benefits they earned as a result of the injuries they suffered as a result of their sacrifice will be lost.”
The “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act” currently has 313 cosponsors, representing a significant bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives. The legislation was introduced with a strong show of initial support with 22 bipartisan sponsors in the Senate and 93 in the House with members of Congress from across the country.
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprising 44 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. It is co-chaired by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).